1. #1

    Time For a GPU Upgrade! Need Suggestions!

    Hey guys! I am currently involved in Skyrim. I have not even beaten the main game yet, and modding the game has seriously interested me. I tried running the game with all my mods and ENBs, and found performance to be a bit weak. To the point where I needed to just get rid of my ENBs.

    My current setup:
    i5 2500k @ 4.5 ghz Overclock
    16gb Corsair vengeance ram
    120 gb Corsair Force GT 3 SSD
    Evga GTX 580 1.5 standard edition OC'd to 840/2040

    Taxes have come back, and I am ready to upgrade my system. I play on a single monitor at 1920x1080, but have 4 monitors connected to my pc. I will be eventually running 3 27' monitors with a screen resolution of 5760x1024 when I can afford it, but that won't be for some time.

    I am basically looking to either add another GTX 580 to my system to SLI or, sell it and do a crossfire or SLI setup. My budget is around $800.00.

    I want to be able to run ENBs such as K ENB, or sharpshooter's ENB with 60 constant FPS with all the Nvidia / AMD tweaks maxed out. I need some suggestions!

  2. #2
    If you want to play at multi monitor resolutions and want to load up VRAM consuming mods, your only viable option would be a 7950 or 7970. While Nvidia cards perform well, they're lacking in the membus department for high resolutions and have less VRAM for your modding needs.

  3. #3
    Isn't there Nvidia cards with just as much Vram?

    example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130794

  4. #4
    If you want to be able to run a heavily modified Skyrim over 3 monitors I think you need to consider going with 7950 or 7970 crossfire. From what I've read even an unmodified Skyrim will not give you 60FPS stable over 3 monitors on a single 7970.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 09:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Moddy View Post
    Isn't there Nvidia cards with just as much Vram?

    example: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814130794
    Nvidia cards have a smaller membus which hinders performance when it comes to heavy vRAM usage.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  5. #5
    There are custom 4 gig variants of the 680 that perform worse than the 2 gig version, yes. They also cost 150ish more than the 7970 for less performance for what you intend to do.

    Not to mention those cards are still choked by the same 256bit membus anyway.

  6. #6
    Also you can get dual 7970 for $700.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...0R_R43WB9ki9_g
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  7. #7
    I've just had so many issues in the past with my drivers when I ran crossfire XFX 6970s. This last upgrade to a gtx 580 was well appreciated, and Nvidia seems to support more titles. What is your stance on this? It may be cheaper, but is it supported?

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 02:06 PM ----------

    It also seems like the GTX 680s have better performance by many benchmarks in Skyrim: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...nd,3162-7.html

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 02:19 PM ----------

    I see there is 4 different versions they offer on Tiger Direct, but there isn't much info on what the difference is?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Moddy View Post
    I've just had so many issues in the past with my drivers when I ran crossfire XFX 6970s. This last upgrade to a gtx 580 was well appreciated, and Nvidia seems to support more titles. What is your stance on this? It may be cheaper, but is it supported?

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 02:06 PM ----------

    It also seems like the GTX 680s have better performance by many benchmarks in Skyrim: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...nd,3162-7.html

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 02:19 PM ----------

    I see there is 4 different versions they offer on Tiger Direct, but there isn't much info on what the difference is?
    I don't think that benchmark is still relevant because the drivers got so many times updated and the performance got improved a lot since march. This is just the latest and most relevant benchmark -> http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2298130

    I'm seeing there the 680 being beaten down everywhere almost by a 7970.

  9. #9
    Yes those results are kind of old and they also aren't using mods that increase the vRAM usage. Once the GTX 680 runs out of vRAM you will see big FPS drops.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  10. #10
    Okay so I am nearly sold. Besides the awesome deal right now that Tiger Direct has going for all the free games, is Skyrim going to crossfire well on 1 monitor at 1920x1080? I am hoping to surpass 100 fps, and keep over 60 with heavily modified ENBS and mods. I am debating buying 2 of those XFX 7970s.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Moddy View Post
    Okay so I am nearly sold. Besides the awesome deal right now that Tiger Direct has going for all the free games, is Skyrim going to crossfire well on 1 monitor at 1920x1080? I am hoping to surpass 100 fps, and keep over 60 with heavily modified ENBS and mods. I am debating buying 2 of those XFX 7970s.
    Probably. Though 100 FPS doesn't matter unless you have a 120Hz monitor.

  12. #12
    For just one monitor I don't think you really need crossfire 7970, it is first when you add 2 more monitors you truly need that kind of power.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  13. #13
    You would be surprised what mods can do to Skyrim. I have seen videos of high end pcs being dragged to their knees. There is some ENBs that are just unreal. I figure crossfire would be needed to keep it all stable? I've seen and heard of people with 3770k and a 680 struggling for 40 fps. I was hoping SLI or crossfire would remedy this.



    Most of these are made for screenshots, or machinima. It's very difficult to run these graphics and enjoy high frames.

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 08:06 PM ----------

    If I won't benefit from good scaling at a low resolution, then perhaps it would be a better idea to go for 1 7970 and replace my 2500k with a 3770K?

  14. #14
    If the mods are that demanding I guess you should go crossfire.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  15. #15
    I am no computer expert by far, I just know the basics. I would be very sad if I dropped 770 dollars on a crossfire setup, and it didn't scale well, I can't find much about recent benchmarks for Skyrim with the new drivers either. x.x

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Moddy View Post
    I am no computer expert by far, I just know the basics. I would be very sad if I dropped 770 dollars on a crossfire setup, and it didn't scale well, I can't find much about recent benchmarks for Skyrim with the new drivers either. x.x
    I does scale fairly well, the scaling has nothing to do with the amount of monitors it comes more down to drivers and the game in question. But usually two or more cards just isn't needed to power just one monitor, but in this case it looks justified.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  17. #17
    Well either way it doesn't look like upgrading from a 2500k to a 3770k/3750k is that much of an improvement, and a crossfire setup would be the best gain right now. With performance near the 680s I think I am going to go ahead and place my order. Don't get me wrong, I play other games than Skyrim. But Skyrim is the first game that has graphically challenged me and my interest. It's quite enjoyable to mod out your files and make it a completely different game and push your PC to the max.

    The fact that I can get near the performance of 680s, and not have to spend 1200 dollars is the deal breaker. As I am sure it is for many. I didn't actually check Tiger, and when I first saw it I was skeptical to say the least. Nvidia really has treated me right, and I am hoping for a better experience than my last one. Also the 5 free games is a huge turn on. lol =P

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 08:24 PM ----------

    Also, just a side note. If you use 2 cards with 3gb of VRAM, does it double it to 6?

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Moddy View Post
    Well either way it doesn't look like upgrading from a 2500k to a 3770k/3750k is that much of an improvement, and a crossfire setup would be the best gain right now. With performance near the 680s I think I am going to go ahead and place my order. Don't get me wrong, I play other games than Skyrim. But Skyrim is the first game that has graphically challenged me and my interest. It's quite enjoyable to mod out your files and make it a completely different game and push your PC to the max.

    The fact that I can get near the performance of 680s, and not have to spend 1200 dollars is the deal breaker. As I am sure it is for many. I didn't actually check Tiger, and when I first saw it I was skeptical to say the least. Nvidia really has treated me right, and I am hoping for a better experience than my last one. Also the 5 free games is a huge turn on. lol =P

    ---------- Post added 2013-02-09 at 08:24 PM ----------

    Also, just a side note. If you use 2 cards with 3gb of VRAM, does it double it to 6?
    No it is still 3GB effective memory, the cards mirror the memory, they both need to keep the same textures and everything in there.
    Intel i5-3570K @ 4.7GHz | MSI Z77 Mpower | Noctua NH-D14 | Corsair Vengeance LP White 1.35V 8GB 1600MHz
    Gigabyte GTX 670 OC Windforce 3X @ 1372/7604MHz | Corsair Force GT 120GB | Silverstone Fortress FT02 | Corsair VX450

  19. #19
    Okay. *Takes deep breath* so I found some results I am happy with.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...k,3232-10.html
    I have officially made up my mind and am going to order the 2 XFX 7970s. The stock clocked 925 core clock models are what my budget can afford, so I hope they can overclock a bit without the need for a voltage adjustment. Hoping for something around 1100+ stable. Hehe. Thank you very much n0cturnal. I appreciate your help, and you helped me make up my mind, cheers. =D

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